How Sharp Think’s David Ellis stays sharp

This PR pro says being able to prove return on investment is more crucial than ever. Here is how he sees the future of the industry.

For Sharp Think’s David Ellis, the day starts at 7 a.m. After that, it’s a caffeine-fueled ride until the to-do list is competed and he can return home to his dog.

We caught up with him for our latest in our Day in the Life series, where he shared his tips for staying productive and what he sees as the dominant trend in communications.

His take: It’s crucial to prove your ROI.

Here’s what he had to say about being successful in PR and communications: 

  1. What time do you wake up?

Mostly, I wake up at 7 and leave the house by 8.

  1. How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?

Too many!

  1. Who is the most important person at work you talk to during your day?

My team, who are a tight-knit and driven group that I truly enjoy working with.

  1. What’s one tool that you couldn’t live without?

Shift—it’s this amazing new desktop application that consolidates my key programs (Google, Slack, Evernote, Spotify, etc) into one streamlined experience with universal search. It’s been an essential tool for adjusting G-suite so I don’t have a million tabs open all the time.

  1. What’s the last thing you do before finishing your workday?

Check my to-do lists and emails to confirm there’s nothing else critical for the day. As much as possible, I also try and do my daily planning for the following day so I can come in and get started on whatever is most important.

  1. What keeps you up at night?

Fighting for space with my dog, who takes up an extraordinary amount of room for a small creature.

  1. What trend or change is the next big thing in communications and/or your industry?

There is an increasing pressure on the client side to get more value for less money, which means measurable ROI is more critical than ever. When coupled with an increasingly fractured earned-media landscape, traditional PR must evolve to integrated communications work that enables brands to control the narrative across the full media landscape: earned, social, digital, influencers, etc.


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